24 Dec 2003

PNG's Red Cross calls on Madang provincial government to help evicted settlers

2:13 pm on 24 December 2003

The Red Cross in Papua New Guinea has accused the Madang provincial government of doing nothing to help settlers who they evicted from their homes.

A local spokesperson, Maureen Hill, says currently the Red Cross, the Church and other NGO organisations are helping with shelters and limited food for the 12,000 settlers.

But, she says it's really the government that should offer more help.

Provincial authorities sought an eviction order which was granted and then police burnt to the ground settlements before an injunction was imposed and the action was stopped.

Ms Hill has once again called for more ships to be sent to Madang to help the eight thousand people who need transport to return to their home provinces.

"But it really should be a government thing, they are not doing it. We cannot wait for that happen. The most pressing need is transport so that people can go home, people want to go home, many people have got the money to buy a ticket to go home, but there is no transport, no ship."

Maureen Hill.

Money to help out with the resettlement was sent by the minister of Inter-government affairs, Sir Peter Barter.

The provincial governor, James Yali, has been unavailable again today to comment on the situation.